The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) today (Dec. 2) upheld the steroids suspension handed down to Chael Sonnen after the former UFC middleweight number one contender was popped for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) in a test administered prior to last August's UFC 117: "Silva vs. Sonnen" title fight at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Sonnen was originally slapped with a one-year suspension plus a $2,500 fine after his pre-fight drug test, obtained from a urine sample that was processed through the UCLA Olympic drug-testing lab, returned a positive result for steroids on both his first and second samples.
Today the commission reduced that term to six months by a vote of 3-1 but upheld the original monetary fine.
The crux of Sonnen's defense was his Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which is not uncommon for athletes his age and with his competitive background; however, the mouthy ex-Realtor failed to follow the proper protocol for clearing his TRT therapy prior to the event.
The suspension cost Sonnen his rematch with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, who now faces Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With both Belfort and Yushin Okami getting first dibs on the 185-pound championship, it's hard to imagine Sonnen walking right back into the title hunt upon his Spring 2011 return. In fact, there's no telling what the UFC has in store for him with their recent roster cuts.
Time will tell.
In the meantime, what is your take on the ruling? Did Sonnen get a raw deal? Or was he lucky to walk away with a six month reduction?
Sound off, Maniacs.